Aspen is breathtaking during any season and always endlessly bursting with activities regardless of weather. Winter has the obvious ski and snowboard options while summer beckons Maroon Bells hiking. Did you know they are the most photographed mountains in the country? The month of October makes for a gorgeous drive on Independence Pass (which typically closes around Halloween, weather pending) with its striking colorful foliage juxtaposed against the snow-capped mountains. Additional seasonal favorites include biking, golf and horseback riding.
A Relais & Châteaux resort, The Little Nell is a place that easily exceeds sky-high expectations—every little touch is covered. Its living room and lobby have undergone a recent transformation by acclaimed architect and interior design firm Luis Bustamante of Spain, which brought in stunning millwork for the walls, fireplace and ceiling, new furniture, carpeting, sconces and then some. Think symmetrical and harmonic proportions. Geometric design elements are at the forefront of the refresh. Luis is also a sculptor and painter and some of his own artwork adorns the hotel’s walls on either side of the wood-burning fireplace.
The 92-room ultra-luxe accommodations are undoubtedly high-end yet undeniably cozy, making you feel right at home once you settle in. From the eco-friendly wooden key cards to the plants in the rooms (and orchids in the bathroom) to the turndown service complete with bedside slippers and a carafe of water to quench mid-night thirst, every aspect is well thought out. Four-legged friends are welcomed—and pampered—with gourmet treats; the hotel even designed a Puppy Jet Lag Kit specifically made to help dogs adjust to its high altitude.
Of course, there’s also a 5-star concierge service always at your fingertips, led by a Les Clefs d’Or-certified chef concierge, to help wrangle any-sized task, including booking appointments and reservations, suggesting activities and arranging transportation.
Rooms and junior suites were renovated a few years ago by New York-based luxury firm Champalimaud Design, featuring bespoke floor plans and gas log fireplaces, many with their own private balconies. With lodging ranging from guest rooms to suites to luxury residences managed by the hotel’s team, plus the Silver Queen Gondola, hiking trails, haute couture and world-class dining just steps out its door, it’s clear why this chic hotel is so sought after. A Colorado Resident Rate is on offer and available online.
Another impressive renovation includes The Board Room at The Little Nell, a secret room hidden behind a bookcase that’s been converted from a traditional meeting space to a swanky speakeasy and is available as a buyout. This fashionably lit private space includes a flat-screen TV, a wooden bar, plush seating and a pool table that can be transformed with a tabletop to accommodate a dinner party or a traditional board meeting. A personal sommelier can help with wine selection or handpick bourbon, scotches, tequilas or your spirit of choice, making it especially fun for a family gathering to celebrate a special occasion.
Eat & Drink
Dine outside on the patio at Ajax Tavern, located right at the base of the gondola, and soak in the majestic mountainside while people (and animal) watching. Catch Dinner + A Movie events while weather permits, where you can dine under a tent, watching a film on a pop-up big screen with the mountains, moon and stars for a backdrop. Order off the menu or reserve a special Veuve Clicquot package for $200+ with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label and two lobster rolls.
For breakfast, lunch, an afternoon cocktail or dinner, there’s Element 47, specializing in seasonally inspired dishes and locally sourced fruits and vegetables. Take a dip in the outdoor heated pool or hot tub. As the day goes on, drop by The Wine Bar, inspired by Willi’s Wine Bar in Paris, Corkbuzz in New York City and Wally’s in Beverly Hills, to take part in its Coravin Wine Challenge, where you’ll summon your inner sommelier while being led through a blind wine tasting journey as you listen to DJs spinning vinyl records. Sip your way through a deliciously educational experience, learning how to see, smell and identify unique characteristics of four different wines—two red and two white. The tasting includes a cheese board that’s perfectly paired with your wine selection to help you determine if your glass is filled with pinot noir, malbec, merlot, or cabernet sauvignon.